Frugal Endeavors

Some of the free seed packets I got in the mail are blooming, including very pretty poppies. I am hoping for some seeds so I can keep these pretty flowers in my garden in the coming years.

July 11 – July 18, 2016

This week was spent waiting for summer to make an appearance. The unusual weather has effected our money saving endeavors. Continue reading

Keeping Christmas in your heart all the year.

In one of my posts, I mentioned that I was already getting ready for next Christmas because I hate feeling rushed and I do not like the stress it brings.

A reader asked me to describe what I do through the year to get ready for Christmas. Good idea!, I thought and then I started thinking about what I do and realized that it is nothing special at all. In fact, it is pretty boring. However, I said I would talk about it, so here is me, talking about it.

Please remember that every family will have their own unique set of circumstances.  My methods may not be useful to you at all or they may need to be modified to work for your family. Christmas is perhaps easier for us because all our children are out of the house and starting lives and families of their own.

The first thing I do on Boxing Day is reflect on what was well received and what was not. This year, pumpkin fudge was a winner. Next, I start day dreaming and researching. I created a board on Pinterest to keep all my Christmas gift ideas together. In conjunction with my Pinterest board, I keep a list of craft supplies I may need to purchase, seeds I may need for my garden, and plants to keep an eye out for when wildcrafting. I record some of these items as an Amazon wishlist because I can use points earned doing surveys to pay for items from Amazon.

The second thing I did this year to get ready Christmas 2016 is to take the time to put away my Christmas ornaments with care. This meant throwing out the broken ones that could not be repaired and fixing the ones that could be repaired. I also wound my Christmas lights and garland carefully so that I will not have to spend several hours having to unravel.

After editing my ornaments, I was left feeling that my tree was a little sparse. This year will see me making Christmas ornaments throughout the year instead of in December. I also like to make an ornament to send to family members and friends who we will not see through the Christmas season. This means that they must be small enough and strong enough to make it through the mail.

Even though my kids are adults, I still like to fill a stocking for them. A couple of years ago, I made one son an advent calendar out of altoid tins and I filled that for him in lieu of a stocking. This year I will fill it for the other child and make a new stocking for the other boy. Half the advent trinkets will be homemade and the other half will be purchased.

These are my goals for Christmas 2016 so far:

  • Stocking for one child
  • Advent calendar for the other child
  • One cross stitch picture
  • Stocking stuffers and advent calendar fillers
  • Several handmade ornaments for myself and to send as gifts
  • Set aside enough money to get a gift certificate for my mom to her favorite local nursery
  • Fudge and maybe other handmade chocolates to give away.
  • To spend almost no money. I have a ginormous stash of craft supplies and fabric. In the past, Mother Nature has supplied me with additional materials and I will depend on her abundance even more this year.

Additionally, I will do my best to blog about how I am reaching these goals. It would be the best gift ever if I knew that I help someone else reduce their christmas stress and find joy in their holiday season.

 

Throwback Thursday

Sometimes moms have good ideas.

Face cloth in a baggieWhenever we went out as a family on a picnic, my mom would bring a wet washcloth in a baggie.  This was back before the days of Wet Ones and hand sanitizers and the wet washcloth tucked into a plastic baggie (or bread bag) ensured that our hands and faces would remain clean.

I find myself using my mom’s practice more and more often.  Hand sanitizers and Wet Ones leave a funny smelling residue on my hands that make my food seem less appetizing and make me wonder what chemicals I am putting on my skin. Additionally, I almost always have a washcloth and plastic bag at home that can be pressed in to service – no additional purchases required.

What ideas do you now use that you learnt from your mom?